The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media
Who should listen: This episode is for business owners who want to avoid the mistakes that diminish the lead-generating potential of social media.
Key takeaway: You can avoid most of these common mistakes if you remember that social media shares many of the same norms that typical face-to-face conversations between friends follow.
In this week’s Silver Dollar episode, Luke and I share some of the lessons we’ve learned from our own experience and from talking with guests about how to use social media effectively.
When we step back and reflect on the mistakes that business owners make with social media, we realize that many of them can be traced back to failing to think about social media as another channel people use to have personal conversations. Simply put, things you wouldn’t do in a conversation with good friends are the same things you shouldn’t do on social media.
1. Trying to connect with everyone
Think about the last time you were among a large and diverse group of people, most of whom were strangers. While you may have said “Hi” to many of them, you probably didn’t have a conversation with all of them. Instead, you quite reasonably gravitated toward people you felt were approachable. They may have been people you already knew, seemed friendly, or thought you had something in common with.
You should approach conversations on social media in the same way by selecting the niche you want to connect with.
Trying to connect with everyone usually results in posts that are too broad to resonate with those who could really help. But if you select a niche, then you can speak more directly to your ideal client’s needs. You’ll have a smaller following, but they’ll be more engaged.
2. Failing to interact
How rude would it be if you ignored the person who was speaking to you or if you didn’t respond to what they were saying? The short answer is very.
Don’t fail to interact with the people who are commenting and liking your posts. And don’t only post emojis—take the time to write a few words acknowledging what someone said.
3. Deleting negative comments
There isn’t much you can say to someone in the heat of a conversation to make them retract a negative comment (short of “Take that back!”). Once the comment is said, it’s out there for everyone to see. And once they see it, they will give their attention to it so that they can see what happens next.
And that’s the key to dealing with negative comments you may receive on social media.
Few people are going to retract their comments. And, while you could delete them, we advise that you don’t because people who follow you are going to want to see how you react. Your reaction will speak volumes about the kind of person you are.
Listen to the episode for suggestions we offer about how to best respond.
4. Forgetting that social media is about being social
Let’s imagine you are on a date or in another situation that requires you to make a good impression. If all you did was talk about yourself, the impression you’d make would leave a lot to be desired. Well, the same thing applies to social media.
Your social media activity shouldn’t be an unending string of posts that promote you and your business. You need to take an interest in other people, and, in business, you need to provide them with value.
Talk about your life outside of business because that is the type of content to which people can relate.
5. Copying and pasting
You will tell things to some people and not others. And, even if you were to share a story with a number of friends, you may not want to tell it the same way to all of them. That’s because you know your different friends enjoy (and tolerate) different things.
Likewise, the content you post to Instagram won’t work as well on LinkedIn without some editing. Different social media platforms attract different audiences. Photos, for example, work well on Instagram even without much text to accompany them. LinkedIn favors more text. These platforms, and others like them, operate under different norms, and their audiences have different expectations, which makes copying and pasting a typically ineffective tactic.
6. Being inconsistent
If you only called a friend when you needed something from them or allowed long periods of time to elapse between conversations, your relationship with that person wouldn’t be very strong. And (you guessed it) the same would be true between you and your social media followers if you weren’t consistent about staying in touch.
We’ve recently discovered that posting more than once a day didn’t make a difference to our metrics. The key seems to be not to post too frequently or too infrequently—both will cause your audience to drop off. Instead, focus on quality over quantity and be consistent as to when and how often you do post.
The critical factor seems to be to post regularly—be it once a day, once every two days, or once a week. Pick a schedule you can stick with.
7. Not spending money
Your friends shouldn’t like you just for your money. But hey . . . we’re talking business here . . . and in business, you need to spend money to make money.
For what amounts to pennies, you can reach your entire community by paying to boost some of your top content. For the cost, you get the opportunity to increase your brand recognition, demonstrate your credibility, and, if you couple your content with lead magnets, add more names to your list!
Even if you don’t pay to boost your posts, you will get a boost in engagement if you post videos.
Creating a video for social media is infinitely easier than you may think because your audience’s expectations are invariably lower than your own. We tend to be hypercritical of how we sound and look, but you simply need to be yourself. Concentrate instead on offering value and being human, and don’t worry about what you look or sound like. As Val Miller of Instagram fame has mentioned, what you look and sound like on video is how you look and sound all the time 😄, so you may as well get some content out of it.
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